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Undergraduate Aid and Awards

RESEARCH PAPER AWARDS The department of History awards several prizes each spring to students who have submitted exceptional writing for a Vanderbilt History course throughout the academic year. To see all of the past winners click here.

Henry Lee Swint Award

$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay in any field of history. This competition is open only to undergraduate History majors and excludes History honors theses.

Samuel T. McSeveney Award

$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written for a freshman History seminar (History 1111 or another 1111 course taught by a history professor). This award was established in 2001 by Professor Samuel T. McSeveney to recognize an undergraduate student with the best paper written in a freshman seminar in the Department of History.

Dewey Grantham Award

$500 to the author of the best honors thesis in the History department. Named for the late Professor Dewey Grantham, this award has been presented each year since Spring 1997.

LHS Award

$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written by a Law, History & Society major. Excludes History honors theses.

Economic History Award

$500 to the author of the best research paper or essay written by an Economics and History major. Excludes History honors theses.

Paul K. Conkin Award

$500 to the author of the best paper in U.S. History. This competition is open to all undergraduate students but excludes History honors theses.

All papers must be double-spaced without instructor comments. Attach a coversheet indicating the class for which the paper was written (course number, course title, term, and instructor) and the award for which it should be considered. The paper cannot be revised from the version that was graded for class. An entry may be considered for more than one award if it meets the eligibility criteria, but each student can submit only one essay per award. Email submissions to by April 26, 2022 (last day of teaching for the spring semester).


Frank A. Woods Award

$500 to a graduating senior with the highest grade point average who is majoring in History; Economics & History; or Law, History & Society. Mr. James Lachs (BS 1993) established this award in honor of Frank A. Woods (BA 1963; LLB 1966).


Gertrude Casebier Award This award is intended for Vanderbilt History major students who are engaged in an original historical research project. The History department will offer awards up to $1000 each to the top research project proposals to help defray the costs of research that cannot otherwise be completed by using the library, archival, and interlibrary loan resources of Vanderbilt University and greater Nashville. Proposals should include: a letter of recommendation from the faculty advisor overseeing the project, a one-page statement describing the nature and significance of the project, and a one-page budget detailing the intended use of the funds being requested. Proposals will be reviewed and awarded once per semester. Email proposal submissions to  beginning the first day of class each semester, through October 15th for the Fall semester and through February 15, 2022 for the spring semester.